Piquillacta, pre Inca city in the South Valley of Cusco


Piquillacta or Pikillaqta is one of the most famous and best preserved pre-Inca places of the ancient cities that existed in Peru. But there are several ancient human settlements in Peru; each with specific knowledge and technologies, which then contributed to the establishment of the largest empire in the western hemisphere. The pre-Inca peoples that occupied the Cusco Valley were relatively "peaceful" peoples; They sought to dominate the natural resources of the area and the overlap and mastery of their culture. Piquillacta was developed between 600 and 1000 A.D. by the Wari culture from the Central Andes (Ayacucho), it expanded southward, being located in high Andean regions such as Cusco and Sicuani, from there it expanded to the western valleys of the southern coast in Arequipa.

Where is Piquillacta?

The archaeological zone of Pikillaqta is located near the town of Huacarpay, district of Lucre, province of Quispicanchis in the department of Cusco, 30 kilometers southeast of the city, about 3,350 m.a.s.l. in an area of approximately 50 hectares.

What does Piquillacta or Pikillaqta mean?

Piquillacta is a Quechua word where piki means flea, and llaqta, town; It could be translated as "the town of fleas", but piki also refers to something very small, tiny, so it could also mean "small town." It is known that the name Piquillacta was assigned after the arrival of the Spaniards. And although his name is unknown in the incanato, it is possible that it was Muyuna (in circuit) or Muyna (in a bad mood). Currently this place is known as Huacarpay and is part of the Pikillaqta complex in the South Valley of Cusco.

Pre-Inca city of Piquillacta (Pikillacta) Wari Culture

Piquillacta is a pre-Inca city occupied by the Wari, they extended from here to the town of Paruro in Cusco. It is known that the Wari before settling in Piquillacta, occupied Chelques, originally Lucre; its great expansion due to the characteristics of the Cusco valley caused them to develop towns with cultural characteristics characteristic of their culture, reached a high level of engineering, their cities were built under established urban planning patterns, their progress was used by other cultures and perfected For the Incas.

What to see in Piquillacta?

Pikillaqta is located in the southern part of the Cusco valley, belonged to the Wari culture that extended from Ayacucho. Piquillacta is one of the things you have to do in Cusco, along with great visits like Pisac or Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas; in Piquillacta you can see sharp stone walls, of the purest pre-Inca origin and possibly one of the main cities of the Wari culture of that time.

  • Qaranqayniyuj
  • Qaranqayniyuj was the largest settlement after Pikillaqta. Some of its buildings are shaped like semicircles, built irregularly, part of it is in a natural hollow, and the other is on a plateau larger than the previous one.

  • Choqepucjio
  • Choquepucjio is one of the most impressive constructions of the archaeological complex of Piquillacta, they are located on the left side of the Huatanay river. These buildings have similar characteristics, 2 or 3-story buildings where the first floors are made of stone and mud, and the upper floors are only adobe and mud.

  • Urpicancha
  • Its name could be translated as the "bird house", it is one of the most important structures of Piquillacta and Cusco; It has platforms of extraordinary quality, excellently armed without any amalgam, it is located on a small plateau with a huge mountain behind, east of the Huacarpay lagoon in Cusco.

  • Kunturqaqa
  • Kunturqaqa is simply a large rocky promontory that protrudes from the Huatanay, west of the city of Cusco its name can be translated as “Rock of the Condors” and it is understood that they put that name since the rock has the shape of the head of a condor; However, the true meaning of the place is unknown.

    Amarupata Platforms

    Amarupata means "place of snakes" and perhaps it was because snakes abounded in this place; These platforms are located southeast of the city of Lucre, its old water channels are magnificent and even now they are used by the inhabitants of the area.

    Ticket to visit the archaeological complex of Piquillacta

    To enter the archaeological complex of Piquillacta you must have the Cusco Tourist Ticket (complete) or the partial ticket that includes the attractions of the South Valley in Cusco. If you wish we can help you plan your itinerary through Piquillacta and other major attractions of the City of Cusco

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